Nature uses many different ways to create or distribute energy and to produce food. Close observation of nature can bring a clean sustainable society much closer much sooner. Here’s a good example: Northern China’s roadsides are peppered with phoenix trees that produce an abundance of fallen leaves in autumn. These leaves are generally burned in the colder season, exacerbating the country’s air pollution problem. Researchers have now discovered a new method to convert this organic waste matter into a porous carbon material that can be used to produce high-tech electronics. They were able to convert tree leaves into a form that could be incorporated into electrodes as active conductive materials.